Steve G.

Why I Am Pro-Choice… A Constitutional Literalism Opinion

In Children, Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Democracy, Drug War, Health, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Politics, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Science, US Government on May 1, 2009 at 6:01 am

Amendment 9:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

My sister got pregnant when she was only 17 (and unmarried). She got married before the baby was born, but she always carried a chip on her shoulder about that. She is also a far-right, Ayn Rand style objectivist-conservative (but without the actual philosophy to understand what that means). I used to be content to merely say that I supported a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body, including a decision about whether or not to have an abortion. That, however, wasn’t good enough for my sister. She is strongly against a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion and, one day, forced the issue and made me think about what my true, bottom line, no holds bar reason for my pro-choice belief is. It comes down to this. I don’t care when a life starts. When a fetus is inside a woman’s womb it has no more rights than any other parasite does.

Now, I am sure that what I just said has REALLY upset at least half of the people reading this but I am willing to admit what most people won’t on this issue. It isn’t a matter of a fetus being capable of living on its own outside of a womb, or a fetus’ soul or anything else. It is, purely and simply, that a fetus meets the biological definition of a parasite and a parasite has no rights. All rights belong to the parasite’s host.

par•a•site (p r -s t )
n.
1. Biology— An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.

parasite (p r -s t )
An organism that lives on or in a different kind of organism (the host) from which it gets some or all of its nourishment. Parasites are generally harmful to their hosts, although the damage they do ranges widely from minor inconvenience to debilitating or fatal disease.
A parasite that lives or feeds on the outer surface of the host’s body, such as a louse, tick, or leech, is called an ectoparasite. Ectoparasites do not usually cause disease themselves although they are frequently a vector of disease, as in the case of ticks, which can transmit the organisms that cause such diseases as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
A parasite that lives inside the body of its host is called an endoparasite. Endoparasites include organisms such as tapeworms, hookworms, and trypanosomes that live within the host’s organs or tissues, as well as organisms such as sporozoans that invade the host’s cells. See more at host.

Now, I like babies as much as anyone, however, I was not allowed by my sister to have a belief that was not utterly devoid of emotion. As a result, I came to an emotionless conclusion on this issue. It simply doesn’t matter to me how far along a fetus is. Nor does any other factor external to a woman matter to me. As long as a fetus is inside its mother, as long as it draws its nourishment and life directly from her, it is not, in my opinion, a person. It might be a ‘life’ but many things are alive which are not granted the status of a person. Once a child is born, by whatever means, it is IMMEDIATELY a person will all individual rights, privileges and protections thereof, but until it is outside of its mother it has no rights.

Ok, I have heard some pro-lifers argue that if a fetus is NOT a person, then someone who injures or kills a mother has not committed murder by killing the fetus. This argument is also nonsense because only the mother has the right to determine if her fetus will be born or not. Anyone who might take that choice away from her has committed murder because of the simple fact that they, and not the mother, took away the mother’s right to have that baby, to give it life.

Now, I have seen people who want those of us who believe in a woman’s right to have complete control over her body try to get us to look at pictures of aborted fetuses in order to try to evoke an emotional reaction. Sorry, this isn’t about emotion, it is about The Constitution. So, you might ask, how does that apply to anything else a person, male or female, might want to do to their own body. I say that it isn’t my right or the government’s right to tell them what they can and cannot do to themselves. This does not apply to those who are not of a sufficient age or intelligence to make an informed consensual decision about themselves but, other than that, if a person wants to have sex with people(s) of their own gender or with prostitutes; if they want to take drugs; if they want to ride a motorcycle with a helmet; or they want to shoot themselves in the head or otherwise end their own lives; if they want to marry someone that they love, serve in the military or raise children, I believe that The Constitution says that they have the rights to do so.

The only valid purpose of law is to protect people from other people; not from themselves or to tell them how to live their lives.

I am a Constitutional literalist, an absolutist. I do not believe that rights are given by The Constitution, nor are they hidden and waiting to be discovered in The Constitution. I believe that The Constitution guarantees that we have ALL rights except those specifically denied to us… and the line is where we take away those rights from someone else. I believe in freedom, and I believe that we can only truly be free when we are willing to allow everyone else to be as free as we ourselves want to be. The only question I have for my readers is this… do you have enough faith in our nation and our Constitution to trust that, with equal freedom, everyone else is capable of determining the courses of their own lives? Do you have enough faith to let everyone else be free?

Rhys M. Blavier
Romayor, Texas

Truth, Justice and Honor… but, above all Honor

© copyright 2009 by Rhys M. Blavier

Thank you for reading this article. Please read my other articles and let me know what you think. I am writing them not to preach or to hear myself think but to try to create dialogs, debates and discussions on the nature of our government and how we can build upon and improve it based on what we have seen and learned over the course of the 225 years of The American Experiment.

  1. Your last question seems to rest on what does “everyone” mean to the reader.

    If a doctor (thinking the patient is not good maternal material) sterilizes a woman (without the woman‘s consent), has the doctor committed murder?

  2. I wouldn’t say he has committed murder because he only destroyed unfertilized eggs (eggs are not fetuses, not are they lifes), however, if it was entirely without her consent and no valid medical need I would say he has committed some kind of crime… and probably several, including depriving her of her right to have children.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  3. Dear Former Parasite,
    What is your definition of a person? What someone says about what something is, does not change what that thing actually is. Either a fetus is a person or it’s not. (that’s an absolute. That’s like me saying that elephants are purple: it doesn’t change the fact that elephants are actually gray.) Whether the mother is planning on having the baby or not, changes NOTHING about the person hood of that unborn baby. I would love to debate this issue with you. Please give me your definition of person and let me know what you think. Thanks!!

    -Former Parasite

  4. My definition of a person is a human fetus that has been born. Pure and simple, it isn’t a person until it is no longer a parasite. While it is a fetus it is not a person.

    Thanks for reading… one former parasite to another.

    Have a good day.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  5. So your saying that simple location defines it’s status as a person? That’s like saying that when I’m inside a box I’m a cat, but when I come out of the box I somehow change magically into a human. Nothing about the baby changes from right before birth to right after birth besides it’s location. Also would you consider someone on life support to be a parasite to that life support machine just because the person is completely dependent on that machine for life, and is giving nothing back in return to that machine?

  6. It is always so amusing to watch people try to build straw men. Are you really that obtuse? Can you really not comprehend my position or see that you aren’t going to change it, at least not with what YOU are trying to use as ‘debating points’?

    You are being cited for sophistry, making fallacious arguments and/or obtuse deductions of reasoning. Please proceed immediately to the article linked below and read it, and then to the links posted in the article’s first comment:

    http://blavier.newsvine.com/_news/2009/04/11/2670963-5-ways-common-sense-lies-to-you-everyday-logical-fallacies?threadId=551824&commentId=6435341#c6435341

    Thank you for your cooperation. Now move along.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  7. Thanks for the site, I’ll try to look into that. I still don’t understand why no one will answer these simple questions I ask. Is a fetus a person or is it not? Location/environment does not change anything. Whether it’s completely dependent on it’s mother doesn’t change anything either. That’s simple logic. After a baby is born, (which at this point you say is fully a person) is it not still completely dependent on it’s mother for EVERYTHING? What exactly happens at the moment of birth that all of a sudden changes it from a bunch of cells to a person?

  8. I hate it when people can’t think of good answers so they just ignore me. Makes me sad. But I hope you think about what I had to say, and maybe do a little more research on your own about what abortion really is. I did look at your site, and I’m not quite sure what makes you think that people will stop trusting their own good judgment and start trusting your own most wonderful, self proclaimed, infallible judgment. How can you be so sure that your own “common sense” that came up with this idea of yours isn’t highly messed up? (That’s completely unlogical.) Simple logic would get you exceedingly far….in more than one aspect of your life.
    I get so frustrated by pro-choice people who can never seem to get past this point. Seriously! can ANYONE out there give me ANY good reasons for justifying abortion? I haven’t found any yet. If you really think your right, then please try to stick on topic, be logical, and explain your REASONS to me. Not just some nonsense that you’ve made up. I’m honestly not trying to be rude or arrogant, I’m simply extremely frustrated. One more thing….When you can PROVE to me that a fetus is not a person, then I’ll be just fine with abortion. So far though, no one has done that. Until then, don’t you think we should error on the side of caution? Sorry for taking so much of your time. But thank you for sharing your ideas. Please answer my questions. I’d love to discuss this further.

  9. One more thing about parasites. Usually people don’t choose to have parasites implanted in their body. Getting pregnant is a persons choice. (I can argue rape too if you’d like, but that’s a whole different topic.)

  10. So if I’m being cited for sophistry and fallacies, I would greatly appreciate it if you would kindly point out where my reasoning and logic went astray….. I’m not the one make up all this stuff about parasites. Unfortunately, just like you can’t be the one who decides when a baby becomes a person, likewise you can’t be the one who defines what logic is. Now, if you’d like to give me some REASONS for thinking my logic is out of order, then please do so. So far you’ve simply ignored the questions that, if unlogical, should be so easy to correct. Please show me how my arguments are unlogical. Thanks for your time.

  11. Ok, first of all, I HAVE answered it, several times now. The very first line of the very first answer I gave you was;

    “My definition of a person is a human fetus that has been born.”

    In MY opinion, a fetus (at ANY stage) is not a person… it is not. That is a line in the sand. When it STOPS becoming a fetus, when it is born by whatever means, it THEN becomes a person. While it is a fetus, which ALSO have a very specific biological definition, it might be a living thing, but it is NOT a person. How is that unclear?

    As for a person who is on life support, they are being kept alive by machines, which is its OWN issue and question. A machine is not another LIVING being so it CANNOT be a host and someone dependent on it CANNOT be a parasite to it.

    As for a baby being born and still being dependent on its mother, that, again, does not meet the definition of a parasite. And yes, to me, the ‘location’ makes all of the difference. Once a baby s born, it is capable of baing cared for, by choice, by ANY person… or by wolves if you want to believe in myths.

    As for proving that a fetus is NOT a person, proof is not required for a negative. The burden of proof would be on YOU to prove that it is… and THAT all comes down to what a personal definition of a ‘person’ is. According to The Supreme Court, a corporation, a particular stack of legal papers, is a ‘person’. I do not accept that either, but at least THAT has been defined in law by The Court.

    Now, for those who view this as a RELIGIOUS issue, which can NOT be used as a bases for American law, I don’t think that abortion SHOULD be the easy answer but I will not insert myself into another person’s right to make their own choices. I also don’t CARE if someone believes that a fetus has a soul or not. That is completely irrelevant to civil law, especially as IT cannot be proven. Those who want to condemn abortion here on Earth because THEY believe that God views it as a sin need to understand that law in America is separate from ANY religious beliefs and it CANNOT use religious beliefs as a foundation. Further, if it IS true that GOD views it as a sin, then why do believers not have enough faith to trust that God will deal with the sinner appropriately? I personally think that the answer is because they do NOT have enough faith to truly belief that God WILL punish anyone for ANY of the stances which they hold to so dearly and so they take it upon themselves to act in God’s place and punish those who THEY personally wish that God would punish. THEY want to make sure that people are punished for violating what THEY think is God’s, even if that means that they have to put themselves in God’s place. It is more about their own thirst for vengenance against those who dare to disagree with THEM, against those who will not let them create the world which THEY think should exist. They aren’t acting FOR God, they are using God as their excuse for their own crimes. I think that such pathologies are adequately described for several different mental illnesses. Thomas S. Szasz said:

    “If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.”

    In closing, I want you to go back and re-read the first paragraph of my article. It is because of people like you that I was forced to adopt a hard-line rational for my support of a woman’s right to choose. It was because of people who can’t discuss it rationally or dispassionately that I had to remove ALL emotion from my own standard. I don’t care about any of the hypotheticals you or anyone else might wish to toss out to try to ‘muddy up’ the water, especially the more ridiculous ones. All they do is make y’all look like bufoons who cannot grasp simple concepts. I also bear no burden of proof to you or anyone else for my personal standard. I give it and my personal reasons for it, but do not try to force anyone else to adopt it. If someone else does not want to agree with me, that is fine. They are welcome to have their own belief and to leave me alone. If someone does want me to change my belief, the burden of PROOF is upon them. Like with you, YOU are the one who can’t simply walk away. You keep coming here and then accusing me of not being WILLING to discuss the issue with you. You mistake disinterest for fear or weakness.

    Where I WILL fight someone about their beliefs is when THEY try to inflict their personal beliefs on others against THOSE people’s own will. In this matter, I don’t care what ANY individual chooses to belief themselves. Nor do I care who they apply those beliefs to THEMSELVES. I DO care when they think that they own belief trumps someone elses and they feel that they have the right to inflict their beliefs on another and force those other people to act in accordance with beliefs that are not theirs. My standard is one of personal freedom and choice. My standard is open and expansive, willing to allow people to make and live with their own choices.

    Now, unless you can actually give me REAL things to discuss on this issue, I am simply going to ignore you. Your personal rantings mean nothing to me and my belief system is not so weak that it bothers me to have people out there who do not believe as I do. I am also confident enough in my personal beliefs that I do not feel a need to hide behind any kind of anonymity, or to hide where I am. Do not interpret this as any kind of fear on my part to face you. Interpret it as pity and disdain.

    Have a good day,

    Rhys M. Blavier
    Romayor, Texas

  12. P.S. — People don’t ignore you because THEY cannot think of good answers. They ignore you because YOU cannot think of good questions.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  13. Forgive me if I may be ranting, I just think it’s extremely important that we figure this out, because if we just choose to be ignorant, then in the mean time thousands of what just might be people could be dying. Or we could just sit back and hope that we’re doing the right thing. If you think that there is any possible way in the world that fetuses might be people then you need to figure it out as soon as you possibly can! And if you can’t figure it out then don’t you think you should err on the side of caution.

    Hitler didn’t think Jews where people. He may have even compared them to scum/parasites. But just because he said they were not people and probably firmly believed it too. Killing them in mass numbers was still horribly wrong….don’t you think? Also I’d like to know why someone who murders a pregnant woman is charged with two murders and not just one. Don’t you think it sounds a little funny (not to mention illogical) that a fetus is person only if it’s wanted, but if it’s not wanted then it’s simply a blob of cells that you can dispose of at your own free will? Either it’s person or it’s not. Being wanted doesn’t and CAN’T change what it is. The convenience of the situation can’t change what fetuses are. That’s like saying that if a huge, unmovable boulder gets in my way and I want badly enough for it not to be there, no matter what I say, think, or believe about it, the fact is that the boulder is still there. That’s what I’m talking about: facts, not personal belief.
    Please understand that I do have faith that God will punish what are sins, but that’s not the issue. If you saw someone killing an innocent little girl would you just walk away because you have faith that God will punish that person? No, if you have any conscience then you would try to help the little girl. The person that’s killing is not the main issue, the person being killed is what I’m worried about. Don’t you see that if you simply walked away, you wouldn’t necessarily, be killing that little girl, but you would be allowing her to be killed. It’s not like I just want to get revenge on all the people out there who have had abortions.

    If fetuses truly are not people then everything you’ve said is very true. But that’s what I want to discuss; your REASONS for thinking they are not. I don’t want to talk about your personal belief, and your rights to think what you want and so forth, I want to look at these logically and go though it one step at a time and see if we can’t come to the conclusion that they just might be people, because you have to admit that even if they MIGHT be people, it’s horrible to kill them in such mass numbers, and not do anything to even try to figure out if they might be people. I’d also like to ask you not when you think a person becomes a person, but the qualities something has to posses to be a person.

    Personal belief isn’t the issue, Truth is the issue. People can believe what ever they want, they even have rights to believe what ever they want, but believing doesn’t make something true. I care about what’s true.

    This may seem extremely radical, but what the whole abortion issue eventually boils down to is that whoever has the most power can kill whoever they define as not being people.(It’s happened before, with Hitler hasn’t it?) If we allow the killing of the most innocent people in the world simply for convenience then where will we stop?
    Again thank you for your time, please bear with me.

  14. Hoping this question is good enough, does the personhood question need to consider if the fetus is a unique living human?

  15. Student,

    It is a good q, thanks. I am just not completely sure I understand what you are asking.

    Are you wondering if, by my personal standard, the fact that a fetus is a unique living thing with the potential to be a unique living person affects anything? If so, then I would say no. My personal line in the sand is that a fetus is NOT person in any way, it is nothing more than a potential person. As such I do not believe it has any rights of its own while it is in the womb. While it is in the womb, only the mother has rights… in my opinion.

    The question which I have been surprised has not been asked is if the mother can be held accountable for things she does while she is carrying a fetus which result in a damaged person if that fetus is born. By this I mean things like smoking, drinking, drug use, or other high risk behaviors. etc. My answer to that would be ‘yes’, if her actions were intentional and with knowledge or awareness of the potential damage she might be inflicting on her child. However, I do not feel that WHILE she is carrying the fetus, she can legally be stopped, only informed of what damage she might be doing. Once a fetus is born and becomes a person, it then gains rights of its own and the mother can be held liable and/or criminally responsible for any actions she knowlingly and voluntarily took which resulted in the birth of a needlessly damaged child. The fetus might have no rights but, as with a fetus being killed by an outside agent, it has the potential rights of a person should it be born.

    Those who might want to argue for limiting the rights of a woman to make choices about her own body might find the potential of giving birth to a needlessly damaged child as stronger case to argue as it focuses on real world potential criminal and civil liability, rather than on any kind of a religious assumption of the sanctity of life, etc. (i.e. — rather than utilizing a basis of argument which has no place in American secular criminal or civil law).

    Rhys M. Blavier

    P.S. — If I DID misunderstand your question, please feel free to correct me and reword it. Thanks.

  16. Mr Blavier,
    You say “potential” person. I’m still wondering what is so important about the location that somehow makes this person either a fetus or a person. Location is not in any way shape or form a part of what the unborn baby is. These are the questions I’d like logical answers to: How can simple location change the status of what it its?
    You may say that the mother has the right to make the choice, because it’s her body, but that doesn’t make sense, because by having an abortion you would be taking away the most basic right of the person inside her, the right to life. (What’s more important: The right of convenience or the right to live?) Our rights only go so far as to not infringe on the rights of others. You have to agree with what I’ve said because so far you’ve given me absolutely no good reasons for thinking that this unborn baby is not a person. (Which would therefor have it’s own rights.) Sure, it’s completely living off of the mother, but how does that make it not a person? Your saying that what something DOES defines what it is. I’m saying that what something IS defines what it is.

    P.S. Whether a parasite is living inside of a host or not it is still a parasite…… location doesn’t define what it is.

  17. One other thing someone pointed out: Is a child who is completely breast fed still a parasite? more so then a child who is bottle fed?

  18. Sorry, I keep adding new posts, but you could compare a flea to a breast fed child. Neither are actually living inside their host, but the flea is still a parasite, and the child is still a person….you see, location doesn’t change anything.

  19. Sorry, I keep adding new posts, but you could compare a flea to a breast fed child. Neither are actually living inside their host, but the flea is still a parasite, and the child is still a person….you see, location doesn’t change anything. Please help me to understand your point of view.

  20. Boomer,
    Why is this so hard for you to grasp. MY view is that a fetus has NO rights, a fetus is NOT a person, a fetus’ location makes ALL the difference. I do NOT believe in an inherant right to life. I also believe that children who ARE born have a right to a mother who actually wants them, not one who will hate them because the child was unwanted.

    There was a science fiction story I read many years ago. I don’t remember the story itself, but there was one scene in it which struck me. A man is on another planet and he sees an endless plain of barrels filled with water. When he looks inside of the barrels he sees a dead infant at the bottom of each one. He asks a native of the planet about this and is told that every baby has a right to be born. When asked why the babies were all killed he is told that it would be cruel to expect an unwanted baby to grow up in a world in which it would not be loved.

    Now then, my answers are perfectly logical. You simply don’t like them. My view and stance is consistent and well-defined. You just seem compelled, for some reason, to waste your time trying to attack me. You don’t seem to grasp one additional factor… I don’t care. I have held this stance for over 15 years, and it is the result of discussions with people like you who can’t accept the idea of my being willing to allow another person the freedom and right to be in full control of their own body… COMPLETE control. What you would need to do, and believe me, better AND smarter people than you have tried, to make me re-evaluate this is to prove to me things that ARE NOT provable. So, in the absense of such proof, I allow myself to be limited in what I think I have the right to tell another person about what to they have to do or not do. I simply am not bothered in ANY way by the idea of thought of a person having an abortion. If a specific person I know wanted to ask me my thoughts of if they should or should not have an abortion themselves, I would happily discuss it with them and try to help them arrive at the decision which THEY are satisfied with but I don’t care beyond that.

    I do have a question for you, however. What is it that COMPELS you to get into a discussion such as this? What do you think is to be gained or changed, for either myself or for you? What makes it so impossible for you to walk away and let someone have a different opinion from you?

    Rhys M. Blavier

    P.S. — I include biological definitions of what makes something a parasite. Some parasites do live on the outside of their host, but each TYPE of parasite is specific in how it attaches to and lives off of its host… so, yeah, location kind of DOES define what it is.

  21. “People don’t ignore you because THEY cannot think of good answers. They ignore you because YOU cannot think of good questions.”

    I have no compulsion to make you understand my point of view. I am ok with people having beliefs which differ from mine. I feel that I have made my position perfectly clear. If you don’t want to ACCEPT my position, that is your right and priviledge and I can live knowing that you are out there disagreeing with me. Like with the idea of women being out there making their own decisions about whether or not to have an abortion, or to do anything else that THEY want to with their bodies, I don’t care. I will sleep perfectly well knowing that you are out there upset by my beliefs.

    Have a good day… and if you don’t have something valid, or at least not stupid, to ask, I will be ignoring you from now on.

    Rhys M. Blavier

    P.S. — Ask yourself “When does a catapiller become a moth or butterfly?”. Maybe THAT will help you.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  22. oops… I posted that twice. I’m sorry I seem like I’m attacking you. I’m not trying to. Ok it’s not provable, so do you feel comfortable that fetuses that might be people are being killed? If it’s not provable then again, we need to error on the side of caution. Have you ever heard of involuntary manslaughter? For instance: a man goes to fumigate a school with a bug problem, it’s after hours so he assumes there is no one in the building. He goes ahead with the job without checking to make sure there is no one in the building. Later he finds out there was a teacher in one of the class rooms that was killed by the fumes. This man would be guilty of involuntary manslaughter, because he didn’t do everything in his power to make sure the school was empty. That sounds a lot like abortion to me. If we can’t prove that little fetus in there is 100% not a person, then we have no business killing it. Please let me know what you think. Thanks for putting up with me.

  23. Your disagreement is not the disturbing thing to me. Innocent babies being killed is what’s disturbing. You say the burden of proof lies with me? If things were the way I’d like them to be then the worst case senerio, is that women are unnecessarily having to put up with having children that they don’t want. If things are the way you want them be then the worst case senerio is that innocent people are being murdered. What’s worse? I’d have to say the burden of proof is on you.
    “Every child is a wanted child, if you don’t want it give it to me.”— Mother Teresa
    I know Mother Teresa is dead but I’m sure there are many people still living who feel this way. Do you know how many thousands of people there are on the waiting list to adopt? There may be children out there who are unlucky enough to have parents who are selfish enough not to want them, but you don’t have to look very far to find someone who does want them.

  24. Besides, like I said before being wanted has nothing to do with being a person. If a mother has a child and then after a few days of putting up with it, decides she doesn’t want it anymore, then can she just kill it, simply because the child still depends on her for everything, and she no longer wants it?

  25. Boomer (or should I say deavergirl4@yahoo.com)

    How many unwanted children have YOU adopted? I won’t even go as far as to ask if there are unadopted children in your state, what about in your county? If so, they you are a hypocrite. Until you either adopt every unwanted baby or personally ensure that they are adopted by loving families and personally ensure that they have happy childhoods, you are a hypocrite and, to me, hypocrisy is the worst sin of all.

  26. I’d rather have an unhappy childhood, then be torn apart in my mothers womb, and never get to experience life. (There are thousands of people out there today who were not wanted, and didn’t have a happy childhood, but they are wonderful people today, and make a huge impact on the world. And I’m sure most of those people are glad to be alive.) Sure there are plenty un adopted kids in my state, but I also know people who want to adopt and are waiting to adopt. But again, being wanted IS NOT the issue, being a human person is the issue. Whether they are wanted or not, if they are people then they have the right to live. And that is what I want to discuss: whether they are people or not. So please put up with me for just a while longer and let me ask you, what attributes does a person have to have to be a person? i.e. Reproduces, self awareness, communication etc. What makes a person a person in your opinion? (Not WHEN do they become people.) To me a human being and a person are the same thing.

  27. A person, in my view, only has to have one attribute to be a person… they have to be out of the womb… ok, two attributes, and alive. I don’t care if someone attacks a woman cuts her belly open and removes her unborn baby, once it is out of the womb alive, it is a person with all rights of a person. I have said it before, to me… TO ME, it is a line in the sand, or even more, a line drawn in cement that has dried. I consider the transition from fetus to person to be essentially a quantum event.

    As for what makes a person, that is not my right to judge… I make no claims to divinity or omnipotence. I have had two cousins who were born with MAJOR birth defects, one was anacephalic and only lived for two days. I don’t care what his condition was or how short his life was, I don’t care that he literally had no brain and no spinal cord, for those two days he was a person. He had crossed the line and, as a reward, he got the prize. The only criteria I have for WHAT a person is is that they made it across the line… period.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  28. If I am going to err, I am going to err on the side of allowing another person to make their own choices and, if need be, their own mistakes. It is a particular kind of ego and presumption to think that we have all of the answers and, thus, that we get to make the decisions for everyone else.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  29. Ok. But you are being completely illogical in saying that simple location can define a persons status. How can that be? What if someone attacked the woman, slashed her stomach, and pulled the baby out, somehow the baby lives and is surgically put back into her womb to finish growing. Is the baby (now again inside the womb) a person because it has been outside the womb or does it return to a parasite and have to wait to be born naturally to re-achieve it’s personhood? Would it be possible for it to be a person while inside the womb, simply because it HAD been outside of the womb? If so then you would be contradicting your parasite idea.

  30. Show me ONE single case that matches the scenario you describe. While there have been cases of operations in utero, the umbilical cords are not cut in those cases. I also do not know how amniotic fluids are dealt with during such an operation, but I do not think that there is any ‘perfect’ solution to anything. I trust that in extraordinary circumstances, extraordinary decisions can be made to deal with those circumstances.

    I am also assuming that you did NOT go to the linked site about logical fallacies because the ‘Nirvana Fallacy’ is covered in it.

    You have also not answered MY questions (my non-absurd questions, at that) to you. Namely “What is it that COMPELS you to get into a discussion such as this? What do you think is to be gained or changed, for either myself or for you? What makes it so impossible for you to walk away and let someone have a different opinion from you?”

    Rhys M. Blavier

  31. If your going to err your going to have to make sure no ones life is involved. It’s disgusting to degrade someones life to another persons “choice”. If you really don’t care that there’s even a CHANCE (even by your own standards) that innocent babies are being murdered by the thousands, then I’m wasting my time arguing with you. But I honestly do thank you for talking with me and giving me your time. And I’d ask you to please think about some of the points I’ve made. (No you don’t have to, I’m just asking.)

  32. Yes, you ARE wasting your time… I have been saying that for QUITE a while. As for your points, I haven’t seen a single valid point for consideration that you have made. At least the other person who has asked me some questions on here wasn’t simply demonstrating their ignorance. And I do not consider an unborn fetus a person nor do I consider their removal a murder. I reject your terms. the only term you HAVE used that I have no problem with is ‘innocent’. But I do not have any kind of illusion that I am a god who can save lives or that I have the wisdom to do so even if I did. I also do not think I can stop the starvation in Africa, or disease in Asia, or human rights violations around the world. Anyone who does IS suffering from delusions of godhood and needs to seek professional psychiatric help. I do what is put within my power to do and say what my own personal beliefs are.

    Now, you STILL are ignoring my questions (although I would rather you simply go away than answer them)… “What is it that COMPELS you to get into a discussion such as this? What do you think is to be gained or changed, for either myself or for you? What makes it so impossible for you to walk away and let someone have a different opinion from you?”

    Rhys M. Blavier

  33. People can clone these days…. I’m not saying it’s happened or it’s probable, I’m saying what if it did happen in the future? What would you think? I get into discussions such as this because I don’t want to sit around and pretend like I don’t care what’s going on in our country. Sure it’s probably not going to help very many people, but if I could save one baby (maybe some mother would read my comments and choose not to have an abortion.)then I’d be happy. (Or better yet, maybe I could change your mind and since your better equipped to get info out there, then maybe YOU could further the cause. haha) I don’t have a problem with us having different opinions, but only one of us can be right. I’m simply trying to figure out who that is. Because I don’t like the idea of little babies being killed because people simply “don’t care” Again, sorry I keep bugging you, but I think I’ve said just about everything. Again, please think about this. Either it’s a person or it’s not. PERIOD. And if you can’t prove it’s not a person, then you better be careful about who your saying it’s “ok” to kill.

  34. I’m sorry you don’t agree with my terms, I don’t agree with your either. But again only one of us can be right….. murder is a pretty disturbing word isn’t it? Abortion is a pretty disturbing thing.
    So basically you just want every one who reads your posts to simply admit your right, and that they are stupid, and move along? Alright I’ll try to remember that in the future.
    And I’m not saying you have to single handedly stop abortion, or stop human rights violations or anything silly like that. But you don’t promote human rights violations, do you? Or do you simply “not care” and let people “choose” whether they want to violate human rights? No, you know it’s wrong and say so, and that’s the least you can do (At this point I could call you a hypocrite for not personally feeding all the starving people in Africa, but I’ll refrain)…… think about it.

  35. Boomer,

    “People can clone these days…. I’m not saying it’s happened or it’s probable, I’m saying what if it did happen in the future? What would you think?”

    Ok, NOW you have presented a great question. Thank you.

    I am actually torn in two directions by that question… the first part of me, the analytical, history studying, science believer part of me thinks that what would be interesting about cloning is that we could finally have some definiative answers about the nature vs. nurture debate. How much of who a person is is based on ‘programming’ and how much is based on their ‘environment’. That side of me, though, is also REALLY bothered by the aspect which says that it is ok to use a human, even a cloned human for research purposes, some of which would, of necessity, be negative or detrimental to the ‘subject’. I am comfortable with fate determining what gets tossed in our paths or dropped on our heads, not so much with other people making those determinations.

    The other part of me is the part that simply doesn’t have enough information yet. This is not trying to avoid or deflect the question. I am the same way with my beliefs in an afterlife, heaven, hell, etc. I simply don’t have enough information so I am content to accept that any of the possible answers (or none of them) could be correct. It simply doesn’t bother me enough for me to worry about it. I would have to wait and see what the process entails, what other people who be involved, what free choice is involved, etc.

    If they are ‘born in a test tube’, as it were, you get into that whole issue about a machine not being a biological host. If a cloned child is carried in vitro, then you have to accept that in no way was it an accidental or unintentional result, or that fate or any random event was responsible.

    It is an OUTSTANDING question, but the only answer I can HONESTLY give you is “I don’t know”. I hope you will understand that I mean no disrespect to you with that answer, nor am I ‘blowing you off’. It is something I imagine I will spend time thinking about but, until I KNOW more, I simply cannot give you an answer.

    I want to thank you. I mean that sincerely. With that question you just made our entire exchange worthwhile. I wish you had been asking this on Newsvine, where I also posted it. This would have the potential to have some interesting responses to if it was more than just you and I having this discussion.

    As for only one of us being able to be right, I am not entirely sure that is true. I think that this is a personal issue and, as long as someone is true to themselves, then they are right.. whatever they choose to believe. That is where I, again, get to my point of being comfortable with people making their own choices. I do not campaign or lobby to have my beliefs made into law, I simply give my own personal beliefs and the reasons, as much as I know them, for WHY I have the beliefs I have. If I were asked to vote on an issue such as this, I would vote according to my own personal belief but I would not fight to get others who disagree with me to change THEIR own beliefs so that ‘my side’ would win.

    Have a good night,

    Rhys M. Blavier

  36. Boomer,

    “So basically you just want every one who reads your posts to simply admit your right, and that they are stupid, and move along?”

    *I* do not even say I am right. I simply have my beliefs and reasons for them. I have been asked by this site to write articles with my thoughts, ideas and beliefs (but no specific topics) and I have done so merely to contribute to the public debate.

    As for feeding the starving in Africa, I am not a hypocrite because I do NOT think that I have that power and that doing something simply to give myself the illusion of making things better is just being self-delusional. What I do try to do is address things that the world puts in front of me. I’ll give you a case in point. I live in a VERY small community in deep East Texas. It is so small that there is no mail delivery out here, only a small post office where everyone has to go to pick up their own mail. A couple of weeks ago I went there and found that someone had abandoned five puppies there over the week-end, so by the time ANYONE saw them, they had already been there for two days. The puppies had fleas, mange and scabbies. They also hadn’t been fed for several days. One of them was running a fever and all of them just wanted someone to be nice to them (they were REALLY friendly).

    I asked in the Post Office and at the local bait shop / store what could be done and they said nothing. The only SPCA that ever did anything here was the one from Houston (in another county) and that there were no shelters in this county and that basically no one in the county pays any attention to this place because it isn’t significant enough for them to bother with. I also learned that this was not the first time puppies from the same mother were abandoned at the Post Office… the last time was in winter and three of those puppies froze to death before anyone even arrived there the following Monday.

    I was REALLY angry about this. I called the Liberty County Sheriff’s office and was told that they don’t do animal control and that they don’t have an animal shelter. They suggested I call the SPCA. I called the Houston SPCA and they said that they don’t do animal pick-ups. They suggested I contact the Sheriff’s office.

    I eventually found out that Polk County has an animal shelter and if I could get the puppies there then they would be taken care of. Now, all I had to do was keep them alive until the next day. I gave them an entire bag of puppy food and a lrage bowl of water. I couldn’t bring them to my home because I already have three rescued animals I have made committments to care for and I couldn’t afford to get them the medical care that they would need if they caught anything from the puppies.

    The next morning I went to the post office, put the puppies in my car and drove them to the next county to the county animal shelter there. The puppies were taken and I was told that none of the would need to be put down. They would be cared form treated and made available to good homes.

    When I got back here, I went inside the Post Office to make sure that they knew what I had done in case anyone had any questions. I was told that when the Post Master had come in in teh morning, the puppies had obviously been well fed and given plenty of water and had been happily rolling around and playing with each other.

    Everyone else here had seen the same situation too many times. But the world put it in front of me and I did what was within my power to do to take care of those puppies. As I told a friend, if those five puppies couldn’t be taken care of then none of the rest of it mattered.

    Have a good night,

    Rhys M. Blavier

  37. Wow! I think we both just had a break though! You wish I would have posted what Question? If we’re talking about the question I think we are then, you just said you “don’t know” And that’s what I’m trying to say: If we don’t know, then we should be way more careful. I know your not trying to be disrespectful… I’m honestly not either. (Thank you for saying that though.) But one more thing, earlier on you said that that people have the right to be in complete control of their body. If people have complete control over them selves then they need to consider all the possibilities, before they put them selves in danger of getting pregnant. (And therefore eliminate an unwanted pregnancy.) People need to realize that if they don’t want a kid and are not willing to kill it to get rid of it, then they need to be more careful about putting themselves in a position where they might get pregnant in the first place. (obviously rape is a different issue.)

    I agree with you that we could have different beliefs that could both be right, but the fact still stands that no matter what you, or me, or anyone believes, either a fetus is a living person or it’s not. It can’t be one thing in one situation and another thing in a different situation. There are no two sides of that story. It’s not that I just want my side to win, I just want what’s right. Again, sorry for taking so much of your time, but thank you for thinking about my question. Please think about all that I’ve said. (Not trying to sound arrogant.) I truly do appreciate it. Thanks again.

  38. I agree with you, and am very glad you helped those puppies. But what I think your saying is that if the animal shelter couldn’t have taken them, then it would have been better if you’d just left them. (I’m not sure this is what your saying so please correct me if I’m wrong.) You may be right. Please understand that I absolutely LOVE animals and would have done the same thing you did, however if you are comparing that to abortion and unwanted children(again correct me if I’m wrong.)I’d have to say that animals and humans are definitely not on the same level. (I understand that you are not necessarily saying this either. I’m slightly confused though about what you are saying.)
    I’m also not under any delusion that I can change the worlds views on abortion, but it would be wrong for me to accept abortion simply because I know I can’t make a huge difference. Just like you try to do what little you can about the starving people in Africa, I try to do what little I can about abortion. Abortion though is something that could be stopped, or at least mostly stopped, fairly easily if only more people cared. Whereas starvation is a much harder problem to remedy. We’re not allowing starvation, but we are allowing abortion.

  39. I wish you had posted the first question on NV. I love LFV, but it doesn’t seem to be a good place to get an interactive dialogue going.

    You misunderstood me about Africa… I do NOTHING to deal with starvation there… it is beyond my ability to deal with. So yes, I am allowing starvation to happen… actually no, I’m not because its happening or not happening is not dependent in any way upon me. Biologically, when a living being is starving, its internal programming is telling it that there is not enough food to feed itself, much less enough to give to others and so the first thing a starving body does is cut off its own ability to reproduce. By contrast, when a starving body is fed, its internal programming tells it that the land can once again feed it and the first thing it does is kick its own ability into high gear TO reproduce. By feeding the starving without being able to actually solve the root cause of the starvation, we cause MORE babies to be born who cannot be fed and, by extension, we kill babies who would otherwise not exist. If I cannot fix an actual problem, I do not try to mess with it… nature has its own ways to deal with such things. What I WOULD do is contribute towards efforts to actually move people to where the land CAN sustain them.

    Also, I am not equating animals to humans, my point was that the animals were put directly in front of me and THAT obligated me to act. As for taking care of them, I was prepared to drive to Houston or any other city if that is what I had to do, having enough money for gas was my main problem as I pretty much live in poverty and don’t have a lot extra. I was saved from having to do that by finding the shelter in Polk county, but I was scrounging up money to pay for gas to go to Houston.

    As for my personal stand on abortion, it is unwavering.. because it can NOT be proven that a fetus is a person, I have no problem with the person who most directly has to live with the consequences of a decision about having a child with being the one who makes that decision. It is NOT my place to tell something that they have to have a child if they don’t want it. To protect a person’s right to make that choice for themself, I have adopted a rigid position that a fetus is not a person and has no rights. I also have a very rigid line on when, in my mind, a fetus becomes a person and gains rights.

    In the absence of proof, I choose to NOT insert myself into another person’s decision making (I also believe in complete legalization of drugs, prostitution, gambling,and other vices, as well as of suicide… as long as every one involved is of an age and capability to give informed consent to their involvement then I don’t care what they do to themselves). In the absence of proof, you would make another person abide by limitations which you would choose to place upon them.

    As for whether or not abortion could be stopped, one of the many lessons of history is that prohibition breeds crime. If you make illegal something that people want to do, they will NOT stop doing it, they will simply move it into the shadows where it cannot be regulated or done safely. People will not stop having abortions, they will not stop doing drugs, they will not stop having sex, they will not stop… anything simply because it is illegal. If you try to use the law to dictate human behavior, all you do is give power to the criminal side which will allow people to do those things which they want to do. All that does is make some people feel good because they can tell themselves that they have been god and shaped the world when in reality all that they have done is try to make a symptom appear better while allowing the disease to run unchecked through the body.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  40. Ok sure, but if you would help the people in Africa (in whatever way)if you could. My point is that you don’t promote starvation, because it’s bad. Same as you shouldn’t promote abortion because it’s bad or for that matter even be indifferent. And again, just because something may be hard to stop, that’s NOT a reason not to try to stop it….. I’m sure glad our country doesn’t legalize regular murder simply because even though it’s illegal people still do it.
    And again, by your definition of a person, you can’t prove that a fetus is a person, but maybe by my definition I can’t prove that you are a person. “Person” is a word that these days means what ever anybody want’s it to. And that’s the scary thing what if one day someone came into power who thought that all people who live in Texas are not people. (By your standards they would have the right to choose that.) After all location is everything. (And don’t say it’s never happened before, thousands of Jews died because ONE man decided he wanted to change the definition of ‘people’.) And I’m not saying I should be the one to choose either, I’m saying that EVERY SINGLE human being is a person, born or unborn. And no one should justify killing by simply playing with what words mean. Again, Thanks for you time.
    P.S. If you can say that your definition of a person is a human fetus that has been born, and then justify killing the unborn. Then why can’t I say my definition of a person is a human fetus(born or unborn) that doesn’t live in Texas, and then justify killing people in Texas? (I’d be right too, since you say, people have to right to choose.) If that were the case, then both of our reasons for personhood are the same: location. You see everyone is in hot water when people start messing with what that words mean. Everyone is subject to whoever has the most power. (In the case of abortion, it’s the innocent babies, who are completely unable to defend themselves, that are being killed by whoever has the power to do so. Babies can’t fight for themselves… someone has to do it, whereas the people in Africa, although limited to what they can do to help themselves are not completely helpless.) Sure everyone can say and believe what they want, but no matter what anyone says every single human being in any position, location, or state of growth, IS indeed a person, that has the right to life. That’s the only possible way that no one would be in danger or be in danger of being in danger. There is only ONE safe and logical definition for ‘people’ and that would have to be a human being. Twist it and mess with it as you will, they are still people.

  41. “If you can say that your definition of a person is a human fetus that has been born, and then justify killing the unborn. Then why can’t I say my definition of a person is a human fetus(born or unborn) that doesn’t live in Texas, and then justify killing people in Texas?”

    Ok, now you are getting into ridiculous hypotheticals again. However, if YOU want to adopt that as your standard, then go ahead. But realize that I am not advocating abortion, I am advocating allowing a person to choose for themselves what they do to their own body. My standard is that a person’s own rights stop at the point where another person’s begin. Since I do not consider a fetus a person, I do not feel that there is any violation of any other person’s rights. Since you DO consider a fetus a person, you hold an opposing view. I might be sad if a person chooses to have an abortion for whatever reason but I am not bothered by it and I would fight for her right to do so.

    “Twist it and mess with it as you will, they are still people.”

    All I can say is that YOU consider them to still be people, or to use the legal term, a person. I do not. I do consider a mother to be a person so I concede to her the right to do to herself what she wants and to then live with the consequences of her personal choices.

    There is one thing I do want you to consider. I am allowing you to have the freedom to choose for yourself what YOU believe. I am not bombarding you with questions or challenges to try to make you change your mind. I don’t care what your personal belief is. You, however, seem to have this compulsion to make me change MY mind, as if my opinion mattered to you or anyone else. I did not arrive at my belief in this matter quickly or easily, I did, however, arrive at it with a great deal of thought and consideration. I am quite content with the conclusion I have arrived at and will articulate it to anyone but I will not chase after someone who disagrees with me to try to pressure them to adopt my own personal beliefs. I still don’t understand why what I said on this website matters to you and why you think it is so important that you have needed to devote the energy to it that you have.

    This is truly a minor thing to me and to answer your messages takes me away from political, historical and economic discussions that DO matter to me a great deal. I have given you the respect of devoting as much time as I have to you, but this has been going on for days and has resulted in my having to deal with 40 comments from you alone. I cannot keep doing this. I have more important things I need to be focusing on and more articles which I need to be researching and writing.

    I sincerely wish you well but, unless you have something truly new to say then please move on and find someone who can give you the time you obviously want devoted to you. I do not have that time, especially not to rehash ground with has been thoroughly covered to the point of absurdity.

    Have a good day,

    Rhys M. Blavier

  42. P.S. — There ARE things worse than death… and sometimes, life is one of them.

  43. Ok thanks for your time… unfortunately I can’t thank you for answering many of my questions. But I’ll see if any other pro-choice people can, but I doubt it. So far no one has. So far no one has proven to me that a fetus is not a person, and for the millionth time: If we don’t know, then we need to protect them. For you this is just another conversation about “politics” for me it’s a conversation about life and death. You may say you’re so firmly sure of your convictions that you don’t feel the need for others to agree with you. I’m so firmly sure of my convictions that I feel obligated to take a stand for it and change things. For you if people don’t agree with you, then so what, big deal, for me if people don’t agree with me then people are being killed by the thousands. So yes, it is a slightly bigger deal to me. My Texas analogy may seem absurd to you, but your standings on abortion seem insane to me. (Besides if you compare the Texas thing to Hitler it’s really not that far fetched.) Oh sure there are things worse then death, but you don’t have the right to decide who dies and who doesn’t, neither does the mother. That’s God’s job…… You’ve been accusing me all this time of thinking I’m God or something, I’m not the one trying to turn his people into parasites. Again I sincerely thank you for your time….. I’m sorry your outlook on life is so horrible that you feel like you have to degrade people to parasites, but again, please think about one of the most logical points I’ve made: either they are people in all situations or they are not people in all situations. Personal belief has nothing to do with it. Think about Hitler too and slaves, no one thought they were people.But they were, and are, regardless of what people personally believed. (I really don’t think you can honestly be serious about the whole parasite thing anyway….. that’s ridiculous!) OK hopefully we are both out of things to say at this point….. I agree with you that this conversation has gone on way too long. It’s unfortunate that it had to be so long and no questions were ever answered. All I can do is hope that you will think about it. Have a good life!

  44. Both “in the womb” and “cut umbilical cord” were mentioned as personhood factors. Is the “cut umbilical cord” concept just a proxy for “in the womb” concept or is the “cut umbilical cord” concept alone a decisive factor in the abortion question?

  45. To me, cut umbilical cord is an extension of in the womb… if a child were somehow put BACK into a viable womb after an unbilical cord was cut, I would classify that as an extraordinary circumstance. However, being removed from the womb AND having the umbilical cord severed, in my opinion,establishes a fetus as a person in its own right. Does that make sense?

    Thanks,

    Rhys M. Blavier

  46. Where does partial birth abortion fit into the debate?
    The relevant partial birth abortion here is where the prenatal is reversed and delivered/birthed (except for the prenatal’s head) at the abortion time?

  47. Student,

    To me, IT IS A WOMAN’S ABSOLUTEL RIGHT TO CHOOSE! If the method that she and her doctor decide to use is partial birth, fine. It doesn’t change anything… it is a method used to abort a fetus.

    Rhys M. Blavier

  48. Would this be close to your thinking?:
    Partial birth abortion relates to the abortion method decided on, not on the location (of the prenatal) question. Because partial birth abortion was decided on prior to any birthing initiation, prenatal’s location at abortion time (i.e. partial birth) is irrelevant.

  49. I hate the abortion debate because people put too much stock in it. Both sides often use very poor arguments; it’s no surprise they so often fail to convince the other side.

    Some notes, however:

    (1) The Randian/Objectivist position on abortion is ardently pro-choice.

    (2) When you write, “When a fetus is inside a woman’s womb it has no more rights than any other parasite does,” I can’t help but to think your case would be stronger by saying “than any other human does.” Even if we accept that a foetus is a human and that it possesses all the same equal rights as any other human, this does not include the “right” to be inside another human’s body–so no human has that “right,” regardless of age, race, gender, &c. By saying “parasite,” you weaken your case insofar as the persons reading your argument are prone to have an negative emotional reaction to your choice of words.

    (3) You write, “It is, purely and simply, that a fetus meets the biological definition of a parasite and a parasite has no rights.”

    I hold that you have a right to remove the foetus from the womb, since the foetus has no right to be there. But I do not agree that the foetus has “no rights” simply because it is a parasite. I would say it has every right not to be hanged, decapitated, stabbed, burned, shot, beaten up, or even scratched.

    (4) You write, “As long as a fetus is inside its mother, as long as it draws its nourishment and life directly from her, it is not, in my opinion, a person.”

    The personhood argument is a weak one. Drop it. It is neither necessary nor sufficient for making your case.

    (5) Check out Murray N. Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty (1982) for a very interesting approach to the abortion debate. It shares elements of your argument, but is, I would argue, far more convincing.

    TO BOOMER:

    Hopefully I can answer your questions.

    (1) I don’t know how I define a “person.” Ultimately I think it’s a highly politicised term, having little relevance to the abortion debate for anyone other than so-called liberals. I consider a foetus a human with all the same, equal, natural, inalienable, negative rights as any other human.

    (2) I do not consider someone on life-support to be a parasite.

    (3) After a baby is born, it is not “completely dependent on it’s mother for EVERYTHING.” Most babies can breathe without the constant help of any other human. But even if we ignore this, the question of dependence is irrelevant. To paraphrase Ayn Rand, a person’s “needs” to not create a claim on the lives of others. This is why you have no innate obligation to feed the homeless (although if you choose voluntarily to do so, I’ll certainly consider the act noble).

    No human has any innate, positive obligations. The only innate obligations any human has are negative obligations, such as the obligation to not rape, not murder, not steal, &c.

    One can gain positive obligations, but only through one’s previous actions. For example, if you take a self-sufficient person and cause this person to become no-longer self-sufficient (let’s say you’ve hit the person over her head with a club), then you are indebted to this person, and in accordance with natural law you must pay for this persons needs until such a time as the person has been restored to the condition she was in before you hit her over the head. (You can also gain positive obligations through contracting to exchange the title to a given piece or item of property.)

    (4) I have absolutely no clue what I’d do if I saw someone killing an innocent little girl as I was going for a stroll. I’ve luckily never been in such a situation. I could make guesses as to what I’d do, but ultimately there’s no real way to know unless I am in that situation myself. If the murderer looked weak, I’d probably step in. If the murderer was a gang of twenty-eight bikers, I’d probably try to get a good look at them so that I could report their activity to the authorities. But again, these are just guesses.

    (5) I do not know whether a child who is completely breast-fed constitutes a parasite. But ultimately, the question doesn’t matter.

    (6) You write, “Ok it’s not provable, so do you feel comfortable that fetuses that might be people are being killed?”

    I feel the same way about the foetus that starves to death as I do the bum who starves to death: I consider it a tragedy, and would hope that people would be caring enough to ensure that it does not happen. But I do not believe anyone has an innate obligation to feed either, and therefore I do not believe anyone has the right to use force to punish those who fail to feed either. The most one can legitimately do to punish those who fail to feed foetuses/bums is to (A) boycott dealing with the person who failed to feed them or (B) shun the person who failed to feed them.

    I feel the same way about the foetus that is decapitated as I feel about the bum who is decapitated: whomever commits the decapitation is violating the natural, inalienable rights of the human being decapitated, and thus the person committing the decapitation is a natural criminal who may be physically punished for his crime.

    (7) I have no problem whatsoever with cloning. It should be completely legal.

  50. No doubt clubbing one over the head puts the one in need. Does having sex create a prenatal in need?

  51. While I was out for my daily walk today, I thought of another way in which The Constitution protects a woman’s right to make her own choices regarding her reproductive rights.

    The Oxford Companion to the SCOTUS defines “eminent domain” as:

    “The power of a government to compel owners of real or personal property to transfer it, or some interest in it, to the government.”

    Wouldn’t the idea that government can pass laws to compel a woman to surrender her rights to her womb as personal property be another form on eminent domain? That anti-abortion laws compel women to transfer her womb (or some interest in it) to government control?

    “Amendment 5
    … nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    If it is in the public interest to have the government exert control over a woman’s womb then the government has essentially taken her womb as its own property. Under the takings clause of the fifth amendment, if the government DOES compel women to surrender control of their wombs to its dictates and laws, shouldn’t the government have to pay “just compensation” to those women who would be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their own will?

    Rhys M. Blavier

  52. Please check out the 4th entry:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18470_the-7-most-horrifying-things-ever-discovered-in-human-body.html

    I’m not even the one putting the words ‘fetus’ and ‘parasite’ together here.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/36445987#36445987

    I’m just saying, you know.

    Rhys M. Blavier

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